A recent Jezebel article titled “I Help Desperate Women and I could go to Jail for It” tells the story of an unlicensed, untrained illegal abortionist in America. The abortionist who remains anonymous is the writer of the article. The abortionist begins by explaining the reasons he/she got into this business:
The job that could put me in jail started at the same time that the desperate emails did. Women searching for abortion-related terms online found something I had written, and started sending me desperate pleas. These women had dire stories. Many were mothers already. They needed abortions, but the nearest clinic was three, four, six hours away. They’d need to go on more than one visit. They’d need childcare. They’d need more disposable income than they would have for the next three months. They had exhausted all their funding, and their state’s abortion fund didn’t have enough money to help them that week. Every week that passed made surgical abortions cost more, a cycle that kept some women perpetually on the brink of affording termination.
The desperate letters drove “Anonymous” to do something. The women said they’d try anything to abort. They talked about herbs, soaps, and even a wire hanger. Instead, “Anonymous” stepped in with a solution.
The abortionist said:
Two or three days later, they would receive a small, unmarked envelope. Inside the envelope were doses of two different drugs that, when used together, will abort nearly any first-trimester pregnancy.
So far this story is written like a fairy tale. A desperate stranger in need of help. A plea going forth to a person with more power. An answer coming by mail that can change the situation in a moment.
Perhaps that’s why one reader named susanstormborn wrote: “You’re the fairy godmother of reproductive rights.”
I hope Disney never writes this story. I know from experience how heart-wrenching it is to encounter a scared woman dealing with a crisis pregnancy. I work with women in these situations on a daily basis. It’s tempting to want to swoop down and “save” these ladies. But abortionists are no fairy godmothers. Abortion pills are not a magic potion that provides a happily ever after. In reality, sending mixtures of serious medications to strangers is dangerous, irresponsible, and foolish. Especially when the person sending them has no medical training or licensing.
The anonymous abortionist writes:
I send women what I can—misoprostol, or mifepristone/misoprostol in combination when I have some stocked. I know, when I do it, that it could be a devil’s bargain—that this could be the envelope that gets traced back to me. This could be the one that lands me in prison. Or, even worse, it could be the one that kills someone. The abortion drugs rarely cause major complications (less often than birth), but they do happen. I don’t know what I would do with that on my conscience. I haven’t had to find out yet.
The writer of this letter is fully aware that the drugs he or she sends out could potentially kill someone. Yet this person continues to do it anyway. Jezebel supports this by publishing the article and giving it a stamp of approval. The reality is that every package of drugs that goes out is meant to kill someone. It’s meant to take the life of a growing child. In addition to one death, there’s the very real possibility of the mother’s life being taken as well. Or at the least harmed. Will this abortionist be there when women are bleeding and frightened after taking these drugs?
Regardless, Jezebel readers feel that this abortionist is worthy of admiration.
Readers showered this abortionist with thanks and praise. Some said the abortionist’s work is a blessing and wished they could send the person money as support.
Thankfully, others readers saw the red flags in this story. One woman who doesn’t object to abortion sees the danger in this person being untrained. This commentator wrote:
This abortionist is not a hero. It’s saddening that Jezebel would go this far in supporting abortion. I truly hope women reading this article won’t feel called to follow in this abortionist’s footsteps. Seeking to be heroes themselves, they could truly endanger the health of women and perhaps young teens.
Better answers are available for women facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies. CareNet is an organization that has over 1,000 pregnancy resource centers in our nation. They provide emotional support, counsel, and material resources to women in need. If you’re looking for a responsible and caring way to provide help for a woman in crisis, call a center in your area. It won’t make you a fairy godmother, but it will make a difference.